Consumption attributes and preferences on medicinal and aromatic plants: a consumer segmentation analysis
ABSTRACT: In recent years, increasing interest in natural and traditional plants, which are an integral part of rural life, has been observed because of health concerns and new social trends. In this regard, medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) are becoming more popular among consumers. The purpose of this research is to investigate consumers’ attitudes and behaviors toward MAPs in order to identify possible distinct consumer group and examine its potential linkage to the characteristics of the consumers’ demographic and socio-economic status. To detect the perceived differences among consumers, the principal component and k-means cluster analysis were performed using the data from a face-to-face survey (n=420) conducted in five major cities in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. The analysis allows segmenting the market into three homogenous clusters that have distinctive behavioral, attitudinal, and socio-demographic profiles. This segmentation is particularly effective for the dynamics and further expansion of the MAP sector as an important source for rural life.